Rev. Dr. Joe Pool, Pastor
Dr. Joe Pool came to FUMC Rockwall as senior pastor in June 2006. Joe has served several churches in the North Texas Conference. He has lead three successful building programs, increased worship attendance and mission awareness and involvement. He has led Disciple Bible Study groups and enjoys teaching. He and his wife, Becky, have three children, Candace, Corey, and Amanda.
Rev. Katie Newsome, Associate Pastor
Rev. Katie Newsome joined our staff in 2018, and is currently serving as the Associate Pastor at First UMC Rockwall. Katie graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Psychology in 2012 and also graduated from Perkins School of Theology at SMU with a Master of Divinity in 2016. Katie is an ordained Elder in Full Connection in the United Methodist Church and has previously served at FUMC Coppell, Oak Lawn UMC, and Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
Rev. Christina Hildebrand, Minister of Life Stages Ministry
Rev. Christina Hildebrand joined our staff in 2006. Our Children’s Ministry has flourished under her service and leadership. Christina will now serve as Minister of Life Stage Ministries: Pastoral Care Coordinator, Confirmation Classes, Support Group Ministries, Senior Adult Ministries and Baptism Coordination. Life Stage Ministries includes specific groups for the special seasons of our lives: Bump to Baby, Empty Nesters, Sandwich Generations, Recovery Groups, Covenant Groups, etc. Christina will continue as liturgist and preacher in worship services. Christina is married to Stefan and they have three children Andrew, William and Sarah.
Rev. Larry Gipson, Minister with Youth
Rev. Larry Gipson has served as our Director of Youth and Family Ministries since June, 2020. He is passionate about helping teens deepen their relationship to Christ through service to our neighbors, conversations with other, and study of the Bible. He has previously served churches in Atlanta and Weymouth, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ working at First UMC Rockwall under a special arrangement. He is a graduate of Yale University (2011) and Candler School of Theology at Emory University (2017). After three years of long-distance dating, Larry came to Dallas to live in the same city as his beloved, Kelsey, who is pursuing her PhD in the Old Testament at Southern Methodist University.
Rev. Clay Womack, Minister of Missions
Rev. Clay Womack joined our staff as Missions Minister in August, 2017. Taking the retired relationship in July, 2017, after forty-two years of full-time service as an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church here in North Texas. Clay brings a deep resume’ of experience and leadership in Christian missions, outreach, and disaster response on the local, domestic, and international levels. He is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M University and a 1979 graduate of Perkins School of Theology, SMU. Married to Gail, a retired math teacher, since 1975, they are the proud parents of son Justin, also a Texas Aggie, who lives, works, and serves Christ in Austin, Texas.
Rev. Sandy Heard, Associate Pastor/Connecting Ministries
Rev. Sandy Heard joined our staff in 2017, and is currently serving as an Associate Pastor. She is a graduate of the University of Texas Dallas (2000), Kansas State University (2012) and most recently, Sandy graduated from Perkins School of Theology at SMU with a Master of Divinity in 2019. She is a provisional Elder in The United Methodist Church. Sandy incorporates her Human Resources background into her role as Associate Pastor with includes responsibilities in HR Administration, Connecting Ministries with new members, Adult Disciple Education, Pastoral Care, and Proclamation of the Word. Married to James, a 6th grade social studies teacher, they are the proud parents of Morgan and Jonah.
Vail Keck, Director of Music and Arts
Vail joined our staff in September of 2018. She was raised in the United Methodist Church from her earliest days. Her family was engaged in music ministries in their local church. Vail earned her B.A. in music and voice performance and her M.A. in choral conducting from The University of California, Santa Cruz; and post graduate studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Oklahoma. Vail is honored and delighted to serve the many musicians and artists within the First UMC Rockwall family.
Shirley Womack, Welcoming Ministries
Shirley connects our first time guests and continuing guests to their areas of interest in the church as well as shepherding those desiring to join through the membership process at First UMC Rockwall. She also works closely with our First Impression Teams. Shirley is a graduate of Texas A & M and is married to Larry Womack. They have two sons, Matt and wife, Melissa, Marcus and wife, Alyssa, along with six grandchildren, Abby, Lucy, Clare, Madeleine, Graham, and Jude.
Gary Hancock, Director of Finance and Administration
Gary has been in key leadership positions at the Lake Highlands UMC in Dallas: Finance, Feed Lake Highlands, Inc. Trustees, Capital Campaigns, and major projects. Gary has served as CFO and Managing Director of several commercial real estate companies and property development groups. Gary is married to Sabrina and they have a daughter, Megan.
Jennifer Potter, Director of Operations
Jennifer Potter joined the staff at First UMC Rockwall as Membership Secretary in March 2008. She grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. She has been married to Steven Potter since 2003 and has one daughter Leahia. Jennifer has been a faithful member of First UMC Rockwall since 2006.
Jen Lennan, Director of Children’s Ministries
Jen Lennan loves working in Children’s Ministry and watching kids grow in faith! She also loves spending time with her son, Ethan, his dog and her cat. One of their favorite things to do is to go on nature hikes, minus the cat. Jen grew up in the KC area and attended college at UMKC where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education. Not long after graduation, Jen got married and traveled extensively before setting down in Lee’s Summit, MO, so that she could be a stay-at-home mom to Ethan. After many years of staying home, God called Jen to work in Children’s Ministry and she has loved every minute of it!
Renee Bridgman, Assistant of Children’s Ministries
Renee Bridgman loves that every week she gets to prepare for the wonderful goal of seeing children learning of Jesus’ love for them. As a previous homeschool mom and private Christian school elementary science teacher, educating children to see the world through eyes of wonder for the Creator has been her lifelong passion. She is blessed to be a dedicated mom to six amazing young adults and Nana-Nay to her three grandbabies who keep her life active and interesting!
Gracie Millard, Assistant of Youth Ministry
Gracie joined FUMC staff in June 2020 as the Associate Youth Minister. She loves working with students! Gracie is working towards her Masters of Divinity at Perkins School of Theology and is discerning ordination. She grew up attending Highland Park UMC where she returned to intern in the youth department after graduating from Baylor (2018) with a degree in Religion. She loves dogs, Dr Pepper, and Baylor Bear football!
Stephanie Campoverde, Children’s Choir Director
Stephanie comes to us from Wylie, Texas, and teaches music at Robert B. Sewell Elementary in Garland ISD. Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Abilene Christian University in 2012. Stephanie and her husband, Jonathan are expecting Baby Campo in March. She is excited to make beautiful music with the children.
June Overholt, Pianist & Organist
June joined the FUMC Rockwall staff in 1997, and has served churches in Kansas and Texas. She has accompanied groups and soloists throughout the United States. June is married to Bob, has one son, Jason and one granddaughter, Jaden
Cheryl Boyanton, Finance Manager
Cheryl’s bio coming soon.
Amy Moore, Director of Communications
Amy Moore joined the staff at First UMC Rockwall in October 2017. She grew up in Richardson and graduated from Texas Christian University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. She is married to Travis Moore and have twins, Emily and Luke. The Moore family become members to First UMC in December 2017.
Beth Boulware, Receptionist/Membership Assistant
Beth Boulware joined the Church staff in January, 2011 as Church Receptionist. In addition she has prepared the Church newsletter since November, 2009. She and her husband Bob have been members since 2002. Beth retired from AT&T after 29 years. She is active in Bible studies and is a member of the J.E. Wilson class. Her hobbies include anything that involves her grandson.
Melissa Bloom, Membership Secretary
Melissa has been an integral volunteer at First UMC Rockwall with Sunday School, VBS, special events, and our children’s team. Melissa is a graduate of Texas A & M. She is married to Jim Bloom, a paramedic, and has two children; Ethan and Caroline.
If you would are interested in having a wedding here or have any questions, please contact our Director of Operations, Jennifer Potter, firstname.lastname@example.org
The ARK Preschool
Chris Conway, Director of The Ark Preschool
Chris joined the church staff in March 2012. She is a graduated from Boston University with a degree in elementary education, and taught for 9 years at R.Q. Mills Elementary in Dallas. Chris has attended First UMC Rockwall with Neil Conway since 2000. Neil and Chris have two children Seth and Maya.
Amy Swiney, Assistant Director of The Ark Preschool
Amy graduated from Baylor University with a business degree, and was the Assistant to the Children’s Minister at FUMC Rockwall prior to joining The Ark staff. In addition, Amy has served in multiple volunteer capacities in this community, since moving to Heath in 1997. Amy is married to Bob and they have twins, Garrett and Hannah.